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Author Topic: Abusive relationship off limits?  (Read 1834 times)

cbarlow1016

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Abusive relationship off limits?
« on: May 14, 2012, 09:45:49 PM »
I just graduated from UC Berkeley. I'm going to be applying to law school in the Fall and am trying to come up with a topic for my personal statement. When I was a freshman in college, I was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship that lasted for a year and a half. After that time, I did a lot of volunteering at elementary schools in Berkeley and Oakland. I met several young girls whose fathers were abusive towards both them and their mothers. This has influenced my decision to go to law school, as I want to help victims of domestic abuse, particularly those victims who cannot afford attorneys. But I don't know if it's ok to talk about this in my personal statement. If I were to discuss it, I would most certainly not portray myself as a victim. Rather, I would say that my experiences have given me a unique perspective on life, and have further incentivized me to apply to law school. Still, I'm afraid of coming across as a victim. Any thoughts?

Henri_Allen

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Re: Abusive relationship off limits?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 05:14:59 PM »
First off, why do you not want to seem like a victim.  When people abuse, they are the aggressor and you are the victim.  Are you concerned about appearing weak?  I'm not trying to condescend, I'm asking to understand.

jack24

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Re: Abusive relationship off limits?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 10:52:08 AM »
Based on the few conversations I've had with admissions dept people, reactions to personal statements are all over the place.  Unfortunately, some schools think that a personal statement can hurt you, but can't help you very much.  Yes, a good personal statement can be a tie breaker, but if your personal statement turns an admissions dean off, it can hurt you even if they like your numbers.

Inspiration for going to law school always plays well if you are sincere.  I don't think your personal experiences are off limits.  I wrote about a personal tragedy in mine, but I have no idea how it was received (I'm done with law school, but I was accepted to 1/3, rejected by 1/3, and waitlisted by 1/3 of the schools I applied to.)

The main question you need to ask is who will be reading this paper.  What is their background and will they be looking for personal motivation.
It might also not hurt you to call a few admissions departments (maybe to schools you aren't applying to) and ask them what they think about it.

"I'm thinking about applying for your school.  My reasons for going to law school are very personal and deal with some abuse I've suffered through.  Is it appropriate if I include that in my personal statement?"

Henri_Allen

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Re: Abusive relationship off limits?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 10:42:08 PM »
What sort of specialties are you considering?  If it's relative to your specialty, say criminal law, then I would consider it, but I would still take jack24's advice and call schools where you're not 't applying to  see if you can get their opinion.

SoCalLawGuy

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Re: Abusive relationship off limits?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 03:07:54 AM »
Well, if you'd like my opinion, here goes: if you don't want to come across as a victim, you could say that you befriended the other girls that were volunteering and that was what inspired you. Would you say this helps?

Rollin45

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Re: Abusive relationship off limits?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 01:40:17 AM »
What sort of specialties are you considering?  If it's relative to your specialty, say criminal law, then I would consider it, but I would still take jack24's advice and call schools where you're not 't applying to  see if you can get their opinion.


 I agree with your reply dude..
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